York is fortunate to have a lot of good schools – a fact that was underlined with the latest performance tables published on Thursday (January 21).
The provisional Key Stage 4 tables show that the percentage of pupils gaining five or more A*–C grades at GCSE (or equivalent), including English and maths, is 64%.
That result places York in the top 14% of local authorities in England, and at the top of the Yorkshire and Humber region.
But when it comes to ranking York state secondary schools on their results an interesting pattern emerges.
A separate Department For Education table gives the percentage of students at each school eligible for free school meals (FSM).
Families qualify for free school meals if they are on a low income or benefits.
If you compare the exam results with the free school meal percentages it shows that the schools with the lowest percentage of FSM-eligible children have the highest grades.
Those with the highest proportion of FSM students have the lowest grades.
The only exception is Millthorpe School, which has the same percentage of A*-C grades as Huntington and Joseph Rowntree schools (66%) but 1.6% fewer students eligible for free school meals.
While you have to be careful to make too simplistic a direct correlation, it does suggest a strong link between the socio-economic factors of a school’s catchment area and exam grade performance.
Worth bearing in mind before rushing to any judgements on which York schools are “better” than others.
|School||% achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs inc English and maths 2015||Percentage of pupils eligible for FSM at any time during the past 6 years|
|Manor CE Academy Trust||78%||10.3%|
|All Saints RC School||70%||14.3%|
|Joseph Rowntree School||69%||19.2%|
|Archbishop Holgate's School||66%||19.5%|
|Canon Lee School||45%||30.6%|
|York High School||24%||34.9%|
Councillor Jenny Brooks, executive member for education, children and young people, said of the performance tables:
Our young people’s efforts, supported by their families and teachers, show again that York offers leading educational opportunities which set firm foundations for aspiring futures.
Congratulations to all concerned.